Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Nachmanovitch turns to Winnicott on play:

Like other manifestations of the Muse, the child is the voice of our inner knowing. The first language of this knowing is play. In this light, psychiatrist Donald Winnicott came to clarify the aim of psychological healing as "bringing the patient from a state of not being able to play into a state of being able to play. . . .It is in playing and only in playing that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self."

(p. 50)

How do we speak the first language of inner knowing? Playfully, creatively. With toys. Making toys of words and things. But if the language would have to be created isn't the knowingness then of the inner knowing thrown up in the air—don't worry, Fido will catch you. Sooner or later Fido will remember having thrown you up into the blue, inner knowing. Galumphing, in the sense anthropologist Stephen Miller attributes to the word. We galumph the whole person into discovery: "Oh, there's something I've thrown up in the air. It kind of looks like me." Now, does one really galumph though without ever letting the limbs touch the ground? Making a toy of our gait, as chimpanzees appear to do. Frequently I find myself talking with my inner chimpanzee. We like to galumph together.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 9:43 AM.


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